For New Yorkers who voted to impose term limits on the City Council, the promise was to sweep clean a moldering institution and fill it with “citizen legislators” who would bring energy and fresh ideas from the private sector, where they would return after their eight-year allotments.
Here They Run Again: Term Limits Don’t Seem to Faze Council Members
But as the first class of councilors elected under the term limits law in 2001 prepares to leave office next year, the very opposite is becoming reality: With lawmakers seeking new elective offices and career politicians looking to join, or rejoin, the body, the Council may well become a political revolving door.
Already, 20 of the 35 Council members who are being forced from office have filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board to run for another position. And at least a dozen of those planning to compete for open Council seats have budding or established political careers, including state officials, relatives of Council members and even a few former councilors who collectively have decades of service under their belts.